See what I did there? Yeah, you should know by now that I finished the Spartan Super this past Saturday. It took me just over 5 hours and 150 burpees from the failed obstacles (I did fine on 23 of the 28!), but I made my way through the 10.2 mile course despite the rain, flooding on the course, and a degree of mud I’ve never encountered in my life. There were long stretches where we had to slog through shin and sometimes even knee deep mud where it should’ve just been open course. But, that is what makes Spartan so amazing. It is the challenge. Even better was that I got to spend Friday visiting my sons as well as Cody’s adorable girlfriend.
To say that is was difficult would REALLY be understating it. I actually got my first cramp crossing the uneven grassy surface just after the start because my legs got cold while I waited. But that was minor. The BAD ones started at about mile 4. What had started as a pretty nice morning turned windy and rainy pretty fast. We even got a bit of hail at one point. Also, the river running alongside the course had overflowed its banks a bit due to the months of rain we’ve had up here. That water is ice cold, and it did its share to cause the cramps to worsen, but, by then, I was out in the middle of the course with nothing to do but work them out and keep moving.
At one point, I sunk to my hips in mud that had the feel of wet concrete. I was stuck and could not move. Another racer actually helped pull me free. After I scraped off the worst of the gunk, I continued on. It would not get any better, but I knew well enough than to believe it couldn’t get worse. And it did. MUCH worse. I tried to think back to before I began the race, a much simpler time when all was right in the world.
When I hit mile 9, I almost failed. I had a cramp so bad in my left leg that started in the calf and went all the way to the hip socket. It dropped me to my knees and I couldn;t move. I couldn’t rub it loose. I started to crawl because I was to close to the finish. There was no way I would give up at that point. A lady came over to me and helped rub the knot of muscle bunched at my hip so I could get to my feet. From there, I just kept walking and jogging in between cramp flare-ups. By the time I reached the FOUR HUNDRED POUND tires for the tire flip (I’d heard 200, but discovered that was the weight of the women’s tire), I was gassed, but the finish line was in sight.
I pushed on, just going straight to the Burpee box for a monkey bar type of obstacle with a pole, rings, and small globes instead of anything like a bar. When I reached the Hercules Hoist, that 150 pound sandbag almost felt like it weighed a ton, but I got it to the top, lowered it, and continued.
I finished in just over 5 hours. I was beat up, bleeding, bruised, but very proud of myself. Next is the Sprint in August and the final race will be the BEAST in September. 13+ miles of absolute hell. And…I will finish. Even if I have to crawl.
That would usually be enough for any weekend, but I’d already been invited by the guys in Monkey Wrench to hit the stage with them that night and do a trio of ZZ Top songs: Sharp Dressed Man, Cheap Sunglasses, and Tush. I feel so fortunate that these guys will give me some of their stage time as I work on my ZZ Top, T. Willy Gibbons persona. If I had to pick a downside, it was that all my musician friends that I come out to support were not in the house. A few had said yes, but for whatever reason, never made it. But that was okay, some of my friends were there to give me their support, and I had a blast. One of them even made me a picture to sign with a “ZZ Todd” logo, and brought enough for me to share! Thanks so much JJ, Chris, KC, and Christian for taking the time to learn those songs just so I can come up and perform.
Now I am going to take a week off my workouts to recover. Have a great day everybody.